Six Errors, 11 Unearned Runs Mar Brooklyn’s Return from Break
By John Torenli, Sports Editor
Brooklyn Daily Eagle
It was a remembrance of things from the not-so-distant past for the 2014 Brooklyn Cyclones at Staten Island’s Richmond County Bank Ballpark on Wednesday night.
By committing a franchise-record six errors and allowing another team mark of 11 unearned runs, the Baby Bums limped back across the Verrazano Bridge with a humbling 14-4 loss to the arch-rival Yankees.
At this time last month, the Cyclones were mired in a season-high eight-game losing streak that featured a myriad of base-running gaffes, fielding miscues and punch-less offensive performances.
Of course, a 21-9 run that coincided with the arrival of left fielder Michael Conforto, the Mets’ first-round pick in the June MLB Draft, washed away most of the memories from that brutal stretch and launched Brooklyn into the lead position in the New York-Penn League Wild-Card chase.
But for one night, in their first game back from the NY-Penn All-Star Break, the Cyclones bumbled their way through a critical game in their ongoing pursuit of a playoff spot.
After jumping out to an early 2-0 lead in the top of the second inning on the strength of second baseman Tyler Moore’s first professional home run and catcher Adrian Abreu’s RBI double, Brooklyn fell apart at the seams.
Starter Scarlyn Reyes (2-3) gave back those two runs in the third, though the tying tally scored on a fly ball that All-Star right fielder Michael Bernal lost in the stadium lights – Brooklyn’s unofficial seventh error, though it was ruled a base hit.
An inning later, the Baby Bombers, who moved within 2 ½ games of the Cyclones in the wild-card race, blew open the game with seven runs, only one of which was earned thanks to errors by Conforto, Abreu and Moore on successive plays.
All-Star shortstop Amed Rosario booted a grounder to open the door for a five-run fifth by the surging Yankees, who will play the Cyclones six more times in the final 12 games, increasing their chances of sneaking past Brooklyn into the playoffs.
All-Star third baseman Jhoan Urena and center fielder John Mora also had errors as the Cyclones established a new franchise high for single-game fielding futility.
Though the loss snapped Brooklyn’s five-game winning streak, it didn’t cost it its coveted perch atop the wild-card standings.
Thanks to Lowell’s walk-off win against Connecticut on Wednesday night, the Cyclones remained one game in front of the Tigers.
The Baby Bums will try to get well quickly at home Thursday evening, when they kick off a four-game homestand with a rematch against the Yankees as rehabbing Mets right-hander Daisuke Matsuzaka tries to give them a lift.
Matsuzaka, recovering from inflammation in his right elbow, will become the 20th major leaguer to rehab with the Cyclones and the second to do so this season.
Fellow Mets righty Dillon Gee made two rehab starts with Brooklyn on June 29 vs. Staten Island and July 4 vs. Aberdeen.
After the Yankees leave Coney Island, Tri-City comes into MCU for a three-game set.
For those interested, Connecticut will finish up a two-game set at Lowell Thursday before returning to Dodd Stadium to host McNamara Division-leading Hudson Valley over the weekend.
The Renegades, who hold a cushy seven-game lead over the second-place Cyclones in the McNamara, will square off against the Tigers six times down the stretch, giving Brooklyn hope that Connecticut will remain in its current locale in the standings.
More importantly, the Cyclones have to hope that Wednesday night’s debacle in Staten Island was a brief flash of their forgettable July skid, rather than a harbinger of things to come in late August and early September.
This, That and the Other Thing: Tomas Nido, Brooklyn’s hot-hitting catcher, went 1-for-3 with a run scored out of the DH spot Wednesday against the Yankees to extend his hitting streak to nine games. Nido is batting a blistering .400 over his last 10 games. … Next Wednesday, Aug. 27, the Cyclones will host the Yankees at MCU on 90s Night at the ballpark. As part of the evening's festivities, the Cyclones will be wearing special Nickeldeon "90s Are All That" jerseys that will be raffled off throughout the game with all proceeds to benefit the ALS Association. To kick things off, the Cyclones’ front office will have their own twist on the "Ice Bucket Challenge" with the Slime Bucket Challenge. Fans will have the chance to make a donation to ALS and then join the team on the field post-game to participate in the ice bucket challenge around the infield. "We'll be celebrating a lot of things from the 90s that will make people say 'Oh yeah, I remember that,'" said Cyclones Vice President Steve Cohen. "And we hope that through all of the money raised through the ice bucket challenge and other events like our jersey raffle, that in the not-to-distant future people will be able to Lou Gehrig's disease a distant memory as well." All tickets for the game on Aug. 27 will have special throwback pricing of just $10.